CAIRO: Egypt signed the first amendment of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the U.S. Wednesday, to support small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) through a $76-million grant, Youm7 reported.
Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr signed the agreement with the Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Egypt Sherry Carlin.
The agreement is meant to enhance Egypt’s economic growth rates by promoting the trade and investment environment and work productivity.
It also aims to increase the opportunity of SMEs and micro enterprises’ growth, besides the improvement of vocational education and training.
In June, the U.S. embassy, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, celebrated the end of a four-year USAID project to help small and medium-size Egyptian companies increase exports and become more energy-efficient.
At the celebration, the USAID announced that the program had increased Egyptian companies’ export revenue by $17 million.
“The United States is committed to Egypt’s inclusive economic growth and continued prosperity,” said Carlin. “We believe one of the surest ways to promote economic growth is to encourage trade, especially among micro, small, and medium-sized Egyptian companies, since they are so important for the country’s economy.”
Since 2011, USAID has worked with the public and private sectors to create better conditions for trade and investment in Egypt, including programs to make external trade more efficient and consistent with international standards.
USAID plans to begin a number of new programs supporting small and medium-size Egyptian enterprises later in 2015 and 2016.